To Be or What? Whatever Happened to Supermarket Manners?

By Bennet Pomerantz

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If
you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which
fork you use. ~Emily Post

Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite
every effort to teach them good manners. ~Author Unknown
Okay, the question of the day is Whatever happened to manners in
today’s society, especially in supermarkets? I do not mean
please and thank you (which I have never heard lately these
days). I mean real manners. I mean have we, in this fast pace
society. lost simple common ideals of courtesy.

My friend Michelle told me this, after I told her I was working
on a column about manners, “Have you ever walked down the
grocery isle and said ‘excuse me’ to the person standing in the
center of the isle with their shopping cart. The person just
stood there as if you had said nothing at all. Of course after
another moment of impatience. you politely clear your throat
and say louder, ‘excuse me, mind if I pass.’’ I mean you’re
trying to be a good citizen and not be rude to everyone around
you. And that person looks at you and says ‘yeah I do mind,’ or
sometimes he or she will just continue to ignore you. Sometimes
that person and another takes a whole center of an aisle, while having a conversation which is completely meaningless to you (and they could move this chat to the Starbucks in the store) while you
are trying to move down the aisle. So you are either forced to
push your way through, causing you to be just as rude as they
are, or to turn around, turn around and walk the other way,

Now it is not just adults only, children stay in the aisle too.
I said “Excuse me” to this kid who stood in the center of the
aisle in a daze. This young lady being cute said “you are
excused” and still stood blocking my way. I said “I am trying
to get beyond you.” At that moment, her mother ran down the
aisle and spoke up to me in angry tones, “What you doing
talking to my daughter?” I try to explain I am trying to get my
shopping done. The mother then said to me, “That no reason why
you need to talk to my daughter!”

Another supermarket non-manned ideal is a person who
accidently drops a product on the grocery floor and walk away.
The aisle is now filled with soda, bleach, cereal or some other
liquid. And you have to walking through it without slipping, to get what you need. We all know the right thing is to tell someone, but most people are too busy to mention it.

Then there is the magic cell phone trick. You know the one, this
is where a person has an ear piece which you can’t see. The
person is looking toward you, so you can assume they are talking
to you. I myself say “Excuse me” The person frowns and says”I
wasn’t talking to you.” They turn their head to show me an ear
piece in their other ear. I say “Excuse me and sorry, I did not
know” and they wave me on as if I interrupted them in a private
moment. Well in a way, I have, but I did not know they were on
the phone.

Finally, I was in line at the grocery store waiting to pay for
my stuff. I was near the register and started to reach into my
cart to unload my food purchases. Suddenly this woman just
jumped in front of me, saying “I got only one item, you have
many. It won’t hurt you to wait a second and let me get this
rung up . . . my husband waiting outside in the car” Before I
could even say a word, the woman behind me in line took the
lead and told her off the line jumper. As I left the store and
headed to my car in the parking lot, this woman shouted “You could not have let me in, could you?” I just walked away, not replying to
her catcalls.

So think about this on your next trip to the supermarket

Food for Thought

This entry was posted in Bennet Pomerantz, Dakota, Emily Dahill, Mystery, Suspense. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to To Be or What? Whatever Happened to Supermarket Manners?

  1. Areta says:

    it was really excellent post! i always like to read this blog. thanks.

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